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A Message From Pastor Wes

The lawyer asked, “What must I do to gain eternal life?”

This question, from Luke 10:25-37, is what we meditated upon during the baccalaureate service last Saturday. As the graduates sat in Jackson Auditorium in their robes, worshiping together one last time before their commencement ceremony, we pondered this question and the weight behind it.

What must I do to gain eternal life?

You know, when we read this question today, we bring a lot of baggage to it. “Eternal life” means something very specific to us, doesn’t it? This phrase elicits images of our perception of Heaven in all its splendor. Maybe you see the Pearly Gates, gold-paved roads, and choirs of angels singing praises to God. Maybe your understanding is different. Either way, “eternal life” is most often equated with God’s promise of paradise in the here-after.

This was not so for the people of Jesus’s time. The lawyer is not asking about the next life to come; he is asking about how to make sure this life leaves a lasting mark on the world. Like Héctor in Disney’s Coco, eternal life was about being remembered after you had passed, ensuring that your story is told long after you are gone. For when no one remembers your story, it is then that you truly pass away.

The question, “What must I do to gain eternal life?”, then, is all about legacy.

Last Saturday, a new slew of TLU graduates were unleashed into the world. With degrees in nursing, kinesiology, psychology, dramatic media, business, social innovation and social entrepreneurship, and yes, even theology, these brand-new alumni are beginning the monumental task of gaining eternal life by leaving a legacy worth remembering well after they pass.

My question for you, dear siblings, is how are you engaging in this holy task? How can you answer Christ’s command to the lawyer and to us to “go and do likewise”?

May God especially bless you during these summer months, and may we all get to the work of love that Jesus has set before us.